Staying chained to the desk all day long can be tedious and depressing but most of the jobs these days require us to sit and stare at the computer screen for 8 to 10 hours daily. But, do people consider the impact on their back, or any other part of their body for that matter? Let’s have a look at what excessive sitting at a desk can do to you:
Hinders Longevity :
According to Dr. James Levine, (doctor at the Mayo clinic), some of the most severe damages to your body can occur by sitting at your desk for long hours. Your heart pumps blood in a slower manner when you are seated and this ensures lesser burning of fat, and easier for the fatty acids to attack and clog your heart which results in weight gain, along with coronary problems. Pancreas can respond to prolonged sitting by affecting the insulin supply in the body. Diabetes could be the possible result.
Posture Problems :
A no-brainer would be possible (and probably irreversible) damage to your posture, by sitting for long hours on a single chair. Whilst leaning in to face a computer or a laptop, straining of your neck and head can lead to straining the cervical vertebrae and sore shoulders and neck muscles. Back problems can be caused due to sitting hunched in front of a screen.
Leg Disorders :
Sitting can lead to the problem of varicose veins. Poor circulation in legs can cause swelling in angles, blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. Lack of activity can also result in weak bones and osteoporosis.
Now that we know about the most severe dangers that we face when we sit excessively, what could be the possible solutions to combat such problems?
Take breaks :
It is important to walk around your office/cabin once every hour. A break of 5 minutes is preferable, but not all employers might allow this. At least stretching mildly from side to side or going to the washroom might serve this purpose.
Get a dual-purpose desk :
These are sometimes referred to as sit/stand desks. This helps cut your sitting time by more than half. An average office-goer can spend anywhere between 40-70 hours a week sitting at his/her desk. Imagine if they could have the option of standing and working as well, the problems that occur with hunching over a laptop could disappear!
An important step that most people forget, is to exercise. Exercise is the crux of good health for everybody. It is important to make sure that you move around enough during the day and whenever you set a time to go running, jogging, going to the gymnasium, etc. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, crunches, etc. can help maintain good back muscles and can prevent pains and soreness. One must set their own goals, timelines, etc. High intensity exercises are important to get good results.
Set a timer to remind you to stand up and walk around for even 1-2 minutes at a stretch.
Stack Sitting :
This is a great way to promote natural circulation and promote natural healing. You can sit with one lower leg out and other angled toward your body as this helps give you stability. Now, every time you inhale and exhale, each breath will automatically settle and lengthen your spine.
Stay Healthy :
Consuming healthy food is important to maintain optimal health and prevent any unwanted diseases. A bad diet, accentuated by bad posture due to excessive sitting can result in the perfect recipe for coronary thrombosis and other related diseases. Consume lots of vegetables, fruits, lentils, etc.
Massage Therapy :
If one tries multiple methods to relax back and neck pain and still fails, massage therapy could be ideal for them. Deep tissue massage therapy can especially result in excessive relief with any sort of soreness and aches that are a result of prolonged working hours in front of a desk.
Yoga Ball Chair :
If all of the above have failed you, it is time to ditch your chair for a yoga ball! Sitting on a yoga ball helps flex your core and it makes sure you maintain a good posture, so as to prevent injuries and other problems. This can prove effective in improving balance as well.
With these numerous tips in mind, let us not forget the 2 most important things that can be done outside the office and away from our desk – a good healthy diet and lots of exercise! Whether you’re working on the toughest project of your life or whether you’re looking for a promotion, never forget to exercise both – your mind and body!